Racist slurs at Bulgaria's Euro 2020 qualifier

Uefa has launched an investigation against Bulgaria's football association after Bulgarian fans gave the Nazi salute and made monkey noises during the qualifying match against England. The association now faces a 50,000 euro fine and a game behind closed doors. Commentators are not surprised that racism in the stadiums is an ongoing problem.

Open/close all quotes
Deutsche Welle (BG) /

Politicians showing how it's done

The Bulgarian service of Deutsche Welle is not surprised by the racist incidents in the stadium:

“In line with the burgeoning racism in society, we are seeing more and more politicians in Bulgaria - top politicians it should be pointed out - who display a language and behaviour that cannot be described as anything but discriminatory. Their behaviour leads to the spread and approval of racist slurs in society in general. What we see in the stadiums is not an isolated mutation but a worrying symptom of an increasingly far-right politics and society.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Uefa far too lax

Uefa must stop trivialising racism at stadiums, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung rails:

“'There were times, not long ago, when the football family thought that the scourge of racism was a distant memory', a message from Fifa reads. I beg your pardon? Since 2013 the three-stage model has been in force in European football according to which all incidents of such behaviour in the stands are to be met with announcements, if repeated with a ten-minute break in play, and finally with the game being cancelled. So far not a single game has been cancelled under Uefa's supervision. Nor have there been any point deductions or disqualifications. So have they really done all they can? ... Only last March English players were subjected to racist insults in Montenegro. The result: a 20,000 euro fine and one game behind closed doors. Uefa's track record up to now is laughable.”

The Evening Standard (GB) /

Red card for Bulgaria's national team

The Evening Standard praises the players on the English team:

“England’s players took a stand against this racism on the pitch, and the match was interrupted. Should they have walked off and ended the game for good? Some will say yes. But there is no reason why England should have had to enforce decent standards of behaviour alone. It shouldn’t have to be up to one team to act: Uefa needs to do it - and fast. That means it should show that zero tolerance of racism is real. It should suspend the Bulgarian team from international competition. ... Racism can be kicked out of football. Over to Uefa to act.”